The Barbary Wars

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by RightHand, Jul 5, 2016.


  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    1801 - 1805 Under Thomas Jefferson and 1815 - 1816 under James Madison

    The first biography of Thomas Jefferson piqued my interest in the Barbary Wars and I have since been doing more research on the subject. With the advent of the American Revolution, the colonies, and subsequent nation, lost the protection of the British Navy. It was the belief of most of the founders of the country that without naval defenses, the new republic was doomed. Jefferson authorized the formation of the US Navy and Marine Corp and their first international engagement was with the Barbary pirates.

    While it is the commonly held belief that Jefferson refused to pay the annual "tribute" to the Barbary states or ransom to the Barbary pirates for release of American captives as a mandate against Islam and tyranny, at least one historian (The Barbary Wars: American Independence in the Atlantic World, by Frank Lambert (2005) maintains it was a trade issue. There is some logic to this argument because piracy was indeed a restraint of free trade, one of the basic needs of the young America for growth and legitimacy.

    John Adams lobbied for continued payment of the annual "Tribute" to the Barbary states saying “We ought not to fight them at all unless we determine to fight them forever.”

    One interesting statistics I found was "....perhaps 1.5 million Europeans and Americans were enslaved in Islamic North Africa between 1530 and 1780" (Christopher Hitchens - From the Magazine Spring 2007).

    This is a very interesting period in our country's fight for independence and far too extensive to discuss in detail but for anyone looking for some great reading, look into this period and the decisions made that continue to affect us today.

    The Barbary Wars: American Independence in the Atlantic World, by Frank Lambert (2005);

    Jefferson’s War: America’s First War on Terror 1801–1805, by Joseph Wheelan (2003);

    To the Shores of Tripoli: The Birth of the U.S. Navy and Marines, by A. B. C. Whipple (1991, republished 2001);

    Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation, by Joshua E. London (2005);

    Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2016
  2. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    You might give "Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History" by Don Yaeger and Brian Kilmeade a read, or in my case a listen. Great book although Kilmeade gets a little too "into" his narration at times:)
     
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  3. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    thanks tully Mars. I'll look into getting that one. Very interesting time in the history of the world
     
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  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    You're welcome, and indeed it was.
     
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